The ESA states that the average age of gamers is 35. It just so happens that I am 35 at this very moment.
Being a father and a working professional generally makes for significantly less game time. Having children pretty much makes less time for everything, sleeping, eating, gazing into the eyes of your spouse over a martini and even boom chicka boom. “killing orcs” is not a euphemism and despite my attempts to make it one, I have nothing to offer.
Back in the days of yore when the blogosphere was just a wee lad I was working for a ecommerce startup as a developer. There was some seriously fun times to be had sitting in a chilly data warehouse at 2am. Time and energy in my life was scarce. My wife and I started spending nights together playing Everquest. Movies were too passive and going out to dinner wasn’t really an option, so cooperating on a game together became our date night.
Playing online multiplayer is fantastic but there is something about being in the same room with someone working together towards a common goal. The fact that the person is your best friend and you can finish each others thoughts just adds to the experience.
Everquest trailed off after the game was more work than it was fun to play. A bit of time passed and we starting playing Guild Wars. Here was a coop game where you didn’t have to pay monthly, (A boon for a household with multiple accounts) you can jump in for thirty minutes and jump out and still feel like you accomplished something, and the community for the most part was mature and interesting.
Guild Wars is now nearing the end of its life cycle and we are looking for somethig new. The Guild Wars 2 trailer came out a few days ago and looks promising, but we are pretty much open to anything that will allow us to be social and enjoy each others company while we game.
Everquest, Guild Wars and other games we have played are great, but the social experience of being with each other is what made it amazing. It is play. Something that a lot of adults have forgotten how to do. Video games are not a panacea for relationships by any stretch, but there are new forms of socialzation being developed here that people haven’t really payed attention to. Compare going to the movies with your family for an hour and a half for seventy-five dollars to the hundred hours plus that a single good game can provide. Looks like my entertainment bucks will be going to ESA members for the foreseeable future.